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Whistleblower: Parents concerned as kids miss school amid pandemic

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district office(KVLY)
Published: Nov. 19, 2020 at 4:53 PM CST
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FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live) - As COVID cases surge, school districts are sending more staff and students home.

It’s raising concern for some parents like Cory Huelsman who has an eight-year-old in the Fargo school district.

“He just started going back to school yesterday,” he says.

His son’s been out for the last three weeks after being exposed to COVID-19.

“He brought home a spelling list and it’s like, woah,” Huelsman. “From the three weeks he was out of school, the words were way harder and larger than what he’d done previously.”

Huelsman worries missing this much school is putting kids behind, something concerning for school leaders as well.

“Definitely, it is a concern anytime we have students out for an extended period of time,” Associate Superintendent Missy Eidsness says.

She says the district is making sure students have access to materials and a teacher. Technology is limited and quarantine time varies.

“The only activities he got when he was out was on Friday, that was it,” Huelsman says. “Monday through Thursday, he wasn’t doing anything.”

Teachers are required to reach out to quarantining students once a week, something both school leaders and parents agree should be upped.

“One idea they are working on at the secondary level is basically a virtual help center,” Eidsness says. “Students could call in and have access to someone who can help them. I think it’s a very good idea that we can use at all levels.”

Eidsness admits it’s an area that needs growth. Adding summer school might be something for families to consider, as learning from home proves challenging for many students.

Fargo is using money from the CARES Act to get more technology to give students learning from home better access.

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